20 days to go before the November 8 midterm elections: What do we know?

By Dave Andrusko

Yesterday we wrote about President Biden’s attempt to pump up his fellow pro-abortionists by vowing to make the first order of business in the next Congress “codifying Roe.” That, of course, depends on the Democrats holding the House and adding two senators in the upcoming elections.

USA Today’s Joey Garrison wrote

Biden’s new pledge came in remarks from the Howard Theatre in Washington as women standing behind the president held signs that read “defend choice” and “restore Roe.” It was a push to elevate the issue less than one month before the midterms. Republicans are widely favored to regain control of the House and perhaps the Senate. 

As a follow up, the Los Angeles Times asked this morning, “Will Biden’s abortion rights pitch sway voters?” On the one hand, Erin B. Logan wrote 

In the wake of the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion leak in May and the court decision the following month, a wave of women registered to vote, creating the distinct impression that this issue would dominate the midterm elections. In August, voters in Kansas, a solidly red state, voted in favor of protecting abortion access, lending more support to the idea that the outcome of the midterms would turn on abortion rights.

However, on the other hand, Logan’s next paragraph was decidedly downbeat. 

“Months later though, polling is painting a different reality. It seems that as inflation worsens, voters are more concerned about gas prices and a possible recession. Republicans’ chances of seizing control of Congress appear stronger than they’ve been in weeks.

Did Biden change that dynamic? He dutifully painted Republicans’ “extreme position,” but “Will it work?”

Biden’s pitch won’t make a difference in the voting booth, Douglas Heye, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, told The Times. Heye said that although Democrats’ outlook got better earlier this year when voting registration surged amid the Dobbs decision, abortion rights have fallen in importance as Americans grow more worried about the nation’s economic outlook.

In a September poll from NBC News and Hart Research Associates, 59% of voters polled said a candidate’s position on dealing with the cost of living is more important than abortion when deciding who to vote for in Congress, while just 37% of respondents said the opposite, ranking access to the procedure as more important.

“[Abortion rights] have fallen in importance with independent women, and when we continue to have bad economic news like we did last week, it looks like that will continue to be the case,” he said.

Abortion was supposed to be the magic bullet for Democrats. But as we noted yesterday

While some polls have abortion as the second or third  most important issue, the  New York Times/Sienna poll “showed that likely voters see the economy (26%) and inflation (18%) as the most important problem facing the country, with just 5% picking abortion as their top issue.” The problem for pro-abortion Democrats is the abysmal state of the economy and the specter of inflation spiraling out of control. 

Better than nothing, commented Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster. But how much?  I’m guessing not much at all.